Skip to main content

Improving Our Campus and Surrounding Communities

UC San Diego’s community contributions extend beyond its top-tier education, research, healthcare, programs and partnerships. From envisioning new ways to relieve local traffic congestion and increase regional transit use, to partnering with local agencies to improve public services, UC San Diego’s efforts reach far beyond the campus.

The university plays an important role in the economic vitality of the state and contributes significantly to the regional economy (up to $9.3 billion, including $4.3 billion in direct spending), public health, research and innovation, access to exceptional education, and more. One in every 17 jobs in the City of San Diego (62,516 jobs) is linked to the university, which contributes $493.7 million in annual state and local tax revenue.


The campus landscape is a dynamic, attractive and functional space that plays a critical role in our efforts to create a sustainable future. These spaces reflect our university values and speak to our stewardship, a focus on students, research and public service. Landscaping can help to integrate structure with site.

Learn more about:

campus landscape

Roadway Improvements

Gilman Bridge

UC San Diego provided $25 million and partnered with SANDAG and Caltrans on the Gilman Bridge project that connects the East and West campuses to improve access and reduce traffic on surrounding city streets. This connection facilitates convenient campus access for vehicles, pedestrians and micromobility users.

Gilman Bridge Opening

Gilman Bridge lights

“Smart Signals” Program

To address traffic congestion, UC San Diego invested approximately $2 million to implement adaptive traffic signal controls at 26 intersections along five miles of roadway surrounding campus, including Regents Road, La Jolla Village Drive and North Torrey Pines Road. When fully operational in fall 2023, “smart signals” will improve traffic flow by using sensors and artificial intelligence to adjust signals in real-time to reduce the time cars spend idling at red lights, which curbs carbon emissions.

See Map of Signal Location


Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Improvements

The university will invest approximately $2 million to install high-visibility pedestrian crosswalks at intersections heavily utilized by pedestrians and bicyclists who access the campus from outside communities. The campus contributed approximately 1.5 acres of right-of-way for bicycle lanes along I-5 for the Coastal Rail Trail system, a continuous bike route that runs approximately 44 miles between Oceanside and downtown San Diego, planned by SANDAG.

crosswalk and bike lanes

East Campus Connections

UC San Diego invested approximately $11 million to build Athena Way to connect Athena Circle to Regents Road and created a connection from Athena Circle to Miramar Street to provide direct access to the Mesa Housing Neighborhood. These new internal campus roadways improve access and reduce traffic on surrounding city streets.

Voigt Drive Upgrades

A joint effort between SANDAG, Caltrans and UC San Diego, this project realigns Voigt Drive and Campus Point Drive to help accommodate existing and future traffic demand. This project provides direct access for the future UC San Diego Voigt Drive Trolley Station and East Campus medical facilities and creates improved bicycle lanes.

Public Transit Investments

Mid-Coast Trolley Extension

UC San Diego has contributed several acres of land, at no cost, to SANDAG, the regional planning agency, for the Mid-Coast Trolley Extension. The university is implementing additional pedestrian, bicycle and wayfinding improvements around the two new campus light rail stations to enhance the experience for people arriving on the UC San Diego Blue Line.

View Project Details

trolley station

Improving Transit Infrastructure and Ridership

UC San Diego, with SANDAG, funded the Gilman Transit Center to support enhanced MTS and NCTD transit services and provides transit pass programs that increase campus community ridership. In August 2020, the campus spent $1.3 million for new transit stops on Villa La Jolla Drive that reduce travel times on routes 30, 41, 150, and 921 by up to 10 minutes during peak travel periods. This project included ADA improvements to the northbound stop and a new ADA path to VA Hospital entrance.

VA transit stops

Supporting City Infrastructure
and Services

Lifeguard Services

Since 2011, the university has contributed over $6.8 million for City of San Diego lifeguard services at Blacks Beach and the beach adjacent to the Scripps campus. UC San Diego collaborates with local agencies to increase public awareness about beach and bluff safety.

See Beach Safety Tips

Scripps coastline

Torrey Pines Fire Station

UC San Diego contributed $22 million for the City of San Diego fire station to be located on the corner of North Torrey Pines Road and Genesee Avenue. The campus is also conveying the land to the city, who will operate and maintain the station that will improve area emergency response services.

Project Details

Sewer Upgrades

UC San Diego funded a $13 million City of San Diego sewer upgrade along Gilman Drive south of La Jolla Village Drive, including installation of 6,100 feet of new 24-inch sewer main to relieve capacity in the existing 21-inch sewer main east of Gilman Drive. The campus also contributed $2.5 million for a new city sewer main on La Jolla Shores Drive that serves adjacent off-campus neighborhoods.

Stormwater System

The university implemented $3 million in upgrades to City of San Diego stormwater infrastructure within the Scripps Institution of Oceanography to improve stormwater conveyance and treatment capacity.

Amenities and Services

Activating Outdoor Spaces

UC San Diego is committed to providing a sustainable, attractive and functional campus landscapes. We focus on building better ways for groups to collaborate by creating healthy, inclusive spaces for living, learning, working and playing outdoors.

Dining on Campus

UC San Diego works to bring affordable dining options to campus. Community members can enjoy unique culinary experiences at eateries like 64 Degrees, The Bistro and Splash! Café or dine at local favorites like Soda & Swine, Croutons, Dirty Birds and new restaurants at North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood.

Places to Eat on Campus

64 Degrees

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

With one of the nation's largest EV charging station networks, UC San Diego continues to add EV charging stations on campus. In addition to offering lower rates than most community locations, charging on campus is a more sustainable choice because every electron dispensed comes from a renewable energy source. EV charging is available to all private vehicle owners.

Charging Stations

vehicles charging


UC San Diego values your input and works diligently to respond to community needs. We invite community members to share comments and concerns by completing our online feedback form.